Monday 26 June 2230 Local 1030UTC
After our fantastic experience at Ha'afeva we
bashed away under engine I have to confess the 15 miles to windward to get to an
anchorage at Uiha in Ha'apai. It was late in the day when we arrived and from
the hearby shore we could here a rythmic drumming beating a strange frantic
sound across the turquise water to our anchorage.
The next morning we went ashore and had a look
around and then the drumming started again. Then through the bush and down
the track we were walking on came a little truck with five women in the back
with two 45 gallon drums. They were thundering into the drums with heavy sticks
and we had no idea what it was all about. Later I asked the driver when he had
dropped the women off and he seemed to be saying it was just for enjoyment and
celebrating the fact that a crowd of men were re-building a walll round the
somewhat dilapidated but extremely colourful and extravagantly designed church
in the village. I still cant work it out but it all seemed a bit
mysterious - they were just driving up and down the island on the little track.
Anyway we then sailed of our anchorage and had a blast sailing Rhiann Marie like
a dingy through thr reefs and past the sleeping whales to Likuka and the capital
of Ha'apa - Pangai.
There we had a wander and checked out the local
facilities. A wander into a dive shop led me to meet an Irishman who we enjoyed
a chat with and had over to the boat for sundowners. Later that evening we all
ate at the mariners cafe and this led Craig Amy and I to head off into the night
at about 11pm to the local Friday night dance in the next village.
Well that was some craic. It was in a village hall
and all lights were full on and the "stewards" I'm guessing from the church
patrolling round the hall to check everyone was behaving. We had a blast and as
the only Palangi there were in great demand and were constantly dragged out to
dance by men, women and also something in between! More later... Well
suffice to say it brought back memories of all the dances we used to go to out
in the country and it was 3 am, after a final nightcap with the owner of
mariners cafe that we got back to the boat. It was a slow start the next
day but i decided to head off anyway for Vavau, with not a breath of wind but
torrential rain! Needless to say two of my crew were badly "sea" sick on the
trip up to Vavau, and couldn't even get excited by all the whales we saw.
All that quickly was forgatten after we anchored up just as night
fell. Vava'u is stunningly beautiful and we will try to spend as much time
here as we can in the many stunning